Laptops have become requirements for primary and high school students in the past few years.
Laptops have become requirements for primary and high school students in the past few years. YakobchukOlena

Back-to-school laptops hit hip pockets hard

BACK-to-school shopping lists are proving pricey for a host of Coast parents forking out for computers needed for their kids to keep up with their classmates.

The lists have also shown a varied approach by schools on what ages they believe students need to be before they bring their own devices.

Yandina mum Tammie Rice said she had spent $1300 by the time she had her son's new laptop insured so he could take it for the start of Year 7 at Nambour State College.

She said her older son, who was about to start Year 9 at Burnside State High School, wasn't required to have one but was instead paying about $250 a year to use a supplied one.

"It (the cost) is massive," Ms Rice said.

"That's before you buy shoes, uniforms or booklists."

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Fellow Nambour State College mum Ashlee Smith said her daughter needed a laptop to start Year 7 as well as a phone because she would be catching a bus.

The computer was about $500 before the extra cost of insurance.

"My eldest is 12 and she has had a phone since October and she has already lost it twice," Ms Smith said.

"Surely having a PC at home has got to be enough and they have got computers at school."

She was confident there would eventually be learning benefits form the technology but she was having difficulty seeing past the cost.

Maroochydore mum Tamsin Stotschek said she had just paid about $500 for a computer for her 10-year-old son who was about to start Year 5.

"It comes home so we will look at the history on the laptop (and) we will keep an eye on what he is doing," Ms Stotschek said.

She was confident the device would benefit her boy's education.

"We've been doing typing (lessons) at home.

"We actually think he will get quite a lot out of using the computer for school work."

The Good Guys Maroochydore store manager Rebecca Hines said back to school demand for laptops had been "ridiculous".

She said devices at her store were selling for between $699 and $1499.

"It's all about the specs and the battery life," Ms Hines said.

She said parents tended to be going for smaller-screened options because they were lighter to carry.

"We didn't have much stock (left) by mid this week."